The Postmodern Bible Reader

Article excerpt

edited by David Jobling, Tina Pippin, and Ronald Schleifer. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001. 381 pp. $29.95.

The editors, members of the Bible and Culture Collective, have produced this volume as a supplement to the earlier volume by the Bible and Culture Collective, The Postmodern Bible (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995). The Postmodern Bible was authored by the Collective and was divided into chapters concerning different postmodern approaches (for example, reader-response criticism, poststructuralist criticism, feminist and womanist criticism). The Postmodern Bible Reader is an anthology of essays concerning interpretation and the Bible written by those who are not "`professional' biblical scholars" (p. ix), but are philosophers, literary theorists, literary authors, and activists.

The volume begins with introductory material, including a selection from a piece of literature: a preface, acknowledgement, "Introduction: A Short Course in Postmodernism for Bible Readers," pp. 1-33; and Thomas King, "Epigraph: from Green Grass, Running Water," pp. 35-39. The volume is then divided into three parts. "Part I: Rereading the Bible" includes "Introduction," pp. 43-57; Roland Barthes, "The Structural Analysis of Narrative: Apropos of Acts 10-11," pp. 58-77; Umberto Eco, "On the Possibility of Generating Aesthetic Messages in an Edenic Language," pp. 78-91; Julia Kristeva, "Reading the Bible," pp. 92-101; Jacques Lacan, "Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father Seminar," pp. 102-16; Hélène Cixous, "Dreaming in 1990," pp. 117-27; J. Hillis Miller, "Parable and Performative in the Gospels and in Modern Literature," pp. 128-41; and Mieke Bal, "Body Politic," pp. 142-58.

"Part II: The Politics of Reading" includes "Introduction," pp. 163-76; Terry Eagleton, "J. L. Austin and the Book of Jonah," pp. 177-82; Ernesto Cardenal, "The Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55)," pp. 183-87; Robert Allen Warrior, "Canaanites, Cowboys, and Indians: Deliverance, Conquest, and Liberation Theology Today," pp. 188-94; Katie Geneva Cannon, "Slave Ideology and Biblical Interpretation," pp. 195-204; Donna J. Haraway, "Ecce Homo, Ain't (Ar'n't) I a Woman, and Inappropriate/d Others: The Human in a Post-Humanist Landscape," pp. 205-18; Zakia Pathak, "A Pedagogy for Postcolonial Feminists," pp. 219-32; and Paul Hallam, "from The Book of Sodom," pp. 233-45.

"Part III: The Conscience of the Bible" includes "Introduction," pp. 249-64; Michel Serres, "Meals Among Brothers: Theory of the Joker," 265-73; Elaine Scarry, "The Interior Structure of Made Objects," pp. 274-95; Enrique Dussel, "from Ethics and Community," pp. 296-318; Emmanuel Levinas, "On the Jewish Reading of Scriptures," 319-32; Jacques Derrida, "Whom to Give to (Knowing Not to Know)," pp. 333-52; and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "`Draupadi' by Mahasweta Devi," pp. …